2013 Bipolar Update
Bipolar Drugs – They can make all the difference
There are a number of bipolar disorder categories but we will be discussing the most serious, called bipolar I. Also known as manic depression, this bipolar disorder is marked by periods of elevated mood swings characterized by moments of depression. Much as the cause may not be clear, there are bipolar drugs used for treating this serious condition. The medication however, is not taken with an aim to cure the ailment but help the patient manage it and slowly get through it to a point where the episodes if still present do not end up negatively affecting the patient’s life.
There are different kinds of bipolar drugs. Each has its role and since everyone reacts to medicine differently, it is advisable to make sure you consult your doctor clearly before taking any of these. The first and most commonly used bipolar drugs is Lithium. Lithium is a well known anticonvulsant used to stabilize moods and helps control mania present in bipolar disorder. It can also be used for the advanced stages of the disorder when the patient is becoming depressive. It however has a few side effects like stomach pain, nausea, memory and concentration problems and weight gain among others. The body may adjust as time goes by and the side effects will wear off. Other mood stabilizers like Lithium Carbonate and Lamotrigine can also be used to prevent depression.
Also among commonly used bipolar drugs is Valproic acid. It is also an anticonvulsant but is stronger than Lithium and can be used in case of rapid cycling, hallucinations or mixed mania. Though not highly recommended, antidepressants can also be used to treat bipolar disorder. These include drugs like Carbamazepine and Sodium Valporate. These two specifically work to prevent a process in the brain that magnifies stress factors in the victim making him get stressed over matters that do not really call for stress.
In acute stages of bipolar disorder, the bipolar drugs may not play a big role in managing the manic attacks. This then calls for more advanced ways of controlling it like use of electroconvulsive therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy is the use of electrical current to momentarily pause the brain while the patient is under anesthesia and is used to treat manic depression in this disorder. Alternatively or if ECT does not work, the patient can then be put through transcranial magnetic simulation. This involves the use of high frequency on the affected areas of the brain. This also works to treat mania in bipolar depression.
Though medication is highly trusted by most people to treat ailments; it is in this case ineffective on its own. A patient suffering from bipolar disorder or even depression needs to undergo therapy. Therapy helps quicken the healing process as the patient gets an avenue to release the tensions that cause these episodes, deal with everyday difficulties of life and deal with the effects the ailment is having on the patient’s personal and professional life. Again, there are non-medical options for mood stabilizers that could work well with bipolar drugs. For instance keeping a strict sleep schedule, exercising regularly, practicing relaxation techniques and developing a solid support system can work wonders as mood stabilizers.
Our website has a very large selection of nice articles on bipolar signs, symptoms and cures. If you visit us periodically you will also find we add others very often. We hope this article on bipolar drugs has been informative.